Objective Rules of Thought
This introductory chapter begins by suggesting how philosophical anti-exceptionalism—the view that good philosophical inquiry is continuous with good inquiry considered more broadly—can be fruitfully paired with philosophical traditionalism—the view that typical philosophical inquiry is a priori inquiry into essential natures. Indeed, it is claimed that a priori inquiry into essential natures can be largely accounted for by recognizing the existence of pure rational thinking. Pure rational thinking involves successfully following the constitutive rules of thought—rules that are constitutive because following them grounds the capacity for having propositional attitudes. Pure rational thinking, if it exists, is not extravagant; neither, then, is any philosophical inquiry that pure rational thinking explains. The chapter ends by pointing out that acknowledging pure rational thinking is at odds with assigning a central epistemological role to intuitions.
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